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|Country of origin||US|
It was formed in 1988 by Bill Wilson – now forever known as "Bill Blackout" – and, together with friend Jim Gibson, the label released its first record – a New York hardcore compilation album entitled Where the Wild Things Are, in 1989. The record included tracks from some of NYC's most popular bands of the day.
After this first release, Gibson amicably parted company to start his own record label, Noiseville Records. Blackout! continued to release more local hardcore, with EPs from Uppercut and Outburst, and a live single from Sheer Terror. This was followed by a mini album from Crawlpappy and the U.S. edition of the Sheer Terror album Just Can't Hate Enough.
Although the label released a pressing of a greatest hits from UK Oi! band The Business, a reissue of Rest In Pieces debut album, and EPs from The Icemen, American Standard, and Outcrowd, there was a lull in activity during the beginning of the 1990s as the local hardcore scene became more prone to violence – a fact which compounded the temporary demise of one Blackout band in particular, Killing Time. During this period Wilson established another imprint, Engine Records, which had a more indie rock sound, releasing multiple records, including the acclaimed Fast Japanese Spin Cycle EP from Guided By Voices.
In 1992, Blackout! returned to punk when they chanced upon a female-fronted band, The Goops, playing at CBGB's and decided to release their records. The Goops toured with Rancid and after an appearance in the soundtrack to the Kevin Smith film Mallrats, signed to Kinetic Records, a part of Reprise/Warner Brothers in 1995. During the same time, Sheer Terror signed to MCA. The label also achieved its biggest independent success with the release of the debut album from H2O in 1996. The band subsequently signed to Epitaph Records.
From around 1995 onwards, there was a general explosion of a new wave of hardcore punk – not only on the east coast of America, but also the opposite coast, where Californian labels Indecision Records and Nitro Records started releasing product. Along with Blackout! and Victory Records, they were the main independent punk record labels well into the new millennium.
The label ended the 1990s with records from Killing Time, Kill Your Idols, and East Bay/ Berkeley bands Redemption 87 and Powerhouse. The early part of the 2000s brought some new blood, including Crime In Stereo, NJ's The Banner, The Procedure, and The Commercials. The last official Blackout! release was The Fire Still Burns in 2005. Although no longer releasing new music, the label still maintains a blog at its website which is infrequently updated and has the catalog available digitally on Amazon, iTunes, eMusic, Rhapsody, and other major digital outlets through IODA.
Band appearing on Blackout Records
- A Well Thought Tragedy – Creep Records artist
- American Standard
- At A Loss
- Awkward Thought
- Blind Society
- Cranked Up! – Creep Records artist
- Crime In Stereo
- Danger O's – Creep Records artist
- Friendly Fire
- Grace Gale – Creep Records artist
- Guns On The Run; Creep Records artist
- I Farm – Creep Records artist
- Kill Your Idols
- Killing Time
- Plow United
- Redemption 87
- Shadow Agency
- Sheer Terror
- The Banner
- The Commercials
- The Escaped
- The Finale; Creep Records Artist
- The Fire Still Burns
- The Goops
- The Icemen
- The Procedure
- The Turbo A.C.'s
- Violent Society